When people asked me what plans I have for the New Year, I faced a dilemma. Should I answer telling them about the house party we have planned for New Years’ eve or should I share my plans for the new year ahead which, I feel, is about to embrace me any time soon?
For me, as with many, the end of a year is a landmark, a milestone. It’s a point where time stands almost still offering me a chance to do an objective review of the past and peek into my future plans. The ends of a year are the rare, albeit wonderful, discrete points in an otherwise infinitely contiguous timeline. It’s somewhat like sharing a birthday with everyone else in the planet, the celebration of going around the sun one more time. After all, luckily or unluckily, that’s the only thing which is common to all of us. It’s something we all do. All men and women, rich and poor, black, white, brown and yellow. It’s a journey we all share.
At this point, I am reminded of this wonderful dialogue from Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight:
Like sunlight and sunset, we appear and we disappear. We are so important to some, some are so important to us….but we all are just passing through.
Above lines are said by an unnamed old lady, who plays an insignificant role in the movie. But perhaps that’s what makes them so significant and the reason why I was moved by them.
Following the brief digression, I must come back to this New Year’s eve of 2014. I woke up on the morning of 1st after spending with friends, a great night of fun at the cusp between this year’s end and next year’s start. Upon waking, I spent a moment to think about what should I do today, on the first day of the new year.
The very next moment, instinctively I made up my mind and decided to clean my brother’s bathroom. I am visiting him for a week during my holidays. He didn’t ask me to do it, I didn’t feel compelled to do it. He tried to talk me out of it. I insisted. Eventually, I managed convincing him to allow me to clean it. No, I couldn’t make it sparkle like a diamond. And not, it’s not as if it was super filthy before I swept my magic broom over the tiles, unifying the floor with the ceiling. I simply did it as a good deed, as a nice deed. I will be taking my brother’s leave in a couple of days. So I did it as a selfless gesture.
I understand that the impact my deed had was minuscule. The time I devoted was inconsequential and probably would have been otherwise spent in reading news online. But while mopping the floors of the blue-tiled bathroom, my thoughts were focused on the impacts this idea could have upon scaling it up. The concept of selfless deeds isn’t novel. In an Indian context, Shramdaan has been a longstanding belief, only to be reinforced by Gandhi’s discourses. I couldn’t help imagine how much more wonderful, peaceful and prosperous our world could be, only if each one of us could make one selfless deed once in a while. If we all commit ourselves to helping each other once in a while, without guile or the expectation of getting something in return. How, perhaps, it could be possible bring about more social equality, justice in fulfilling basic needs of fellow humans, if each of us decides to play their part in this giant chain of human symbiosis.
Sitting down to write this piece with this seed in my mind and a nice cup of tea in my hands, I resolved to spend this new year of my life doing as many selfless deeds as I can manage to.
And now I realize, I have found my answer. This is my plan for the new year.
Thanks for reading. Please drop your comments, if you liked this post. Meanwhile, I leave you with this: